The inaugural Volleyball Yukon Open was a tale of two very different champion teams.
The Queens won the women’s division to close out an undefeated season while FOD, who finished last in the league, pulled it together to top the men’s division on Saturday at F.H. Collins Secondary.
“We went undefeated all year,” said Queens captain Heather Julsrud. “I think part of it was the fact that we always showed up. And positivity: our team, no matter what we were down, we always kept battling and fighting back and never lost. It was awesome.
“We bonded. We were a fun team.”
The Queens went 20-0 in Volleyball Yukon’s adult sprint league. They then won nine more over the weekend to take first in the open without dropping a set.
The Queens defeating Team 3 by the score of 25-15, 25-17 in the final.
Team 3, which was supplemented with some Team 2 players in the final, placed second in the spring league as well.
“We’re trying to get people aware that there is a decent Yukon adult league,” said Julsrud.
Team FOD went 9-20 in the spring league to place fourth out of four teams but found their groove over the weekend.
They took first with a straight-set win over Bumpin’ Uglies.
“When we sat down to do a draft at the start of the season, I was surprised that some of the players I was drafting hadn’t been drafted by other teams,” said FOD captain Nathan Bingham.
“The challenge for us was we were also the youngest team … I was wondering where it was going to go. If everyone plays like they are supposed to, no one can touch this team. By the end of the season everyone was playing well, like I thought they would.”
FOD’s acronymic name stands for Friends of D’Arcy, to honour D’Arcy Hill, the executive director of Volleyball Yukon.
“D’Arcy is the guy who has just come in, he’s been coaching a lot of teams lately, has taken over as executive director for Volleyball Yukon and has been doing a tremendous job,” said Bingham. “He has a lot of enthusiasm, so we thought that would be fun to call ourselves Friends of D’Arcy.”
Both of the champion teams include players from Volleyball Yukon’s Sub Zero club teams and players who will likely go on to represent Yukon at the Western Canada Summer Games this August, said the captains.
A total of eight teams – five men’s and three women’s – competed in the open.
Up next for Volleyball Yukon is the Canada Day Co-ed Fours Volleyball Tournament on July 1 at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse.
More information can be found at volleyballyukon.com.
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